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Vayishlach: Modesty Matters

By Five Towns Marriage Initiative
There are three midrashim from the Midrash Tanchuma on Parashas Vayishlach that discuss the kidnapping of Dinah. The first midrash talks about ostentation and explains that a person should not go out dressed flamboyantly, in a way that looks to attract attention, and that to do so shows a flaw in a person. The goal is to dress up when inside of the home, and the midrash says that jewelry was only created so that women could use this to be even more attractive to their husbands.
The midrash concludes that we are not supposed to leave something valuable out in the open, even if it’s in front of someone who is an upstanding person. Based on this, how much more so should we not leave something valuable in a place that is known to be populated with thieves. When we know that we are surrounded by immorality and unscrupulous individuals, we have to go out of our way not to draw unnecessary attention to ourselves.
The second midrash quotes the pasuk in Tehillim which says that the glory of a princess lies within, and her garments are made from gold. When a woman dresses with modesty in the home, she is worthy of marrying a Kohen Gadol and having children who can become Kohanim Gedolim. The midrash then explains the pasuk from Tehillim to say that when she dresses appropriately in her home, she makes herself worthy of the one who wears the garments of gold in the Beis HaMikdash.
The third midrash says that Dinah is referred to as the daughter of Leah in the pasuk and not the daughter of Yaakov. It says that because Leah went out, and Dinah also went out. The actions of parents are mimicked by their children.
The way to safeguard our homes and make them places of modesty is to limit public ostentation, be careful to dress and act in a modest manner, both in public and private, and be proper role models for our children. May we merit to build homes from which will come forth those who will serve Hashem in the Beis HaMikdash once more. v
Five Towns Marriage Initiative provides educational programs, workshops, and referrals to top marriage therapists. FTMI will help offset counseling costs when necessary and also runs an anonymous shalom bayis hotline for the entire community Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings, 10:00–11:00 p.m. For the hotline or for more information, call 516-430-5280 or e‑mail

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Posted by on December 4, 2014. Filed under In This Week's Edition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.